Most useful for Chemo kit

I start sipping chemo cocktails on Friday, so I’d like to know what items were most useful in your chemo kit eg: is it really necessary for me to take in my own blanket?  Did you talk to your nurse the whole time you were there, or did you zone out and play music on your phone?  What would be your top number one item to make chemo bearable?  Go!

Hi. I hope it goes well for you!

I’d go for a banana! It helps that ‘large’ anti-emetic pill go down a treat and I doubt you’ll have the luxury of a tea trolley with biscuits and sandwiches at the moment! Make that a banana and some biscuits.

I used hardly anything I had in my chemo-bag. I’d packed Rescue Remedy, a relaxing essential oil, mints, puzzle books, the lot. I found the things I tended to need were tissues, a banana, a bottle of water and really comfy clothing. You will be sitting for a long time, maybe popping to the loo attached to a drip, so I found joggers and trainers best. Make sure your sleeve will easily roll up to your elbow In case you need a blood test. If you feel the cold, take a big loose cardi that can be thrown round your shoulders. Forget about fashion.

Assuming you can’t have someone with you, you will want something like music or a kindle to keep you occupied, though you may find everyone is sociable and chatty. You have one arm virtually out of commission so all those plans to do sudoku and crosswords will have to be abandoned if they are using your writing hand for the drip. Of course, if you didn’t have axillary clearance, you can ask them to use your non-writing arm and not risk setting off the beeper every few minutes like one inconsiderate bloke did in one of my sessions - he insisted on using both hands typing on his tablet!! A nurse comes running every time.

Things may be a little calmer right now or they may be more frantic as they catch up. If you are in a large hospital, as I was, you’ll be lucky to see the same nurse more than twice in the whole session. They are dealing with several patients at once so I’m afraid the idea of a nurse sitting by your side for conversation is something of an ideal! The staff are all wonderful however and chat very easily while they are working on you.

Last thing - if they told you “two hours” add at least another two. Once I was advised to go early to have a preliminary blood test. I kept reminding the receptionist but nothing happened. Having arrived at 1.25pm for a 3.30 session, I got home just before 8!

Enjoy your steroid boost, the best bit in the cocktail and, seriously, I hope You have an easy time. 

Jan x